2021 marks the 35th anniversary for the Sooke Fine Arts Show and its second year as an online event, with a few notable, in-person exceptions. Beginning with the popular ticketed Purchasers’ Preview Night on July 22, the show is free to the public from July 23 through August 2.
New this year is a dynamic virtual gallery, allowing participants to move through gallery ‘rooms’, much like a physical art gallery, all from the comfort of their own home. On display in the different gallery rooms are works ranging from painting, sculpture, fibre arts, wood and glass to ceramics, jewellery, and photography.
This year’s jurors, award-winning artists Carey Newman, John Stuart Pryce, and Emily Hermant, selected 350 works by 249 coastal artists. They also chose the exceptional award-winning pieces, which will be announced July 24 at the Artist Celebration Event, livestreamed from the website and Facebook. The award-winning pieces will also be displayed for in-person viewing from July 26 to August 8 at the Sooke Arts Council Gallery, 6596 Sooke Road, Sooke.
In-person aspects of the show include Street Signs, an outdoor youth art project on July 27 that will see two of Vancouver Island’s well-known artists mentoring young, emerging talents, and the En Plein Air project, a collaboration with the Sooke Arts Council to host artists painting ‘en plein air’ throughout the community and surrounding areas on August 1 and 2.
“Last year’s switch to an online version of the show provided a tremendous learning curve in a very short time,” says Sooke Fine Arts Society Executive Director Terrie Moore. “That journey formed the foundation for creating a new, dynamic way to showcase the artists’ works and an intriguing virtual experience for our viewers. We are delighted to share this year’s virtual show and to be able to host a few outdoor activities as well,” says Moore.
From the award-winning jurors, the exciting new Street Signs art mentors, the exceptional youth and adult artists, the collaborative arts partners and sponsors, to the team of loyal volunteers and supporters—the Sooke Fine Arts Show is a pinnacle expression of the artistic talent and commitment of BC’s coastal islands arts community. “The show’s longevity, its reputation for quality, high-caliber art, our connection with the community & care for the 300+ volunteers that help us put on the live show, the support for arts & artists in our region – that’s what makes this show so special.” – says Eileen Badiuk, President of the Sooke Fine Arts Society.
At a time when art provides much-needed inspiration, the online Sooke Fine Arts Show is an inclusive venue for exploring what has always been the pinnacle of creative expression from Vancouver Island and coastal island artists.
Show Features & Events
Other familiar features of the Show are also returning online:
- Purchasers’ Preview Night, an exclusive, ticketed event, allows art collectors and purchasers first access to view and purchase their favourite unique artworks. Tickets are available for $25 at sookefinearts.com/events
- Artist Celebration Event, live streamed to the website and Facebook page, July 24 @ 2:00 pm
- The auction offers bidders a chance to win original artworks, fishing expeditions, sailing charters, guided birdwatching tour, event tickets and more
- The ever popular artist demos and talks are back with a special event for Seniors’ Tea Day on July 29
- Artz4Kidz features interactive activities for children
- The Youth Art Gallery features award-winning art from local emerging artists
The People’s Choice Award allows you to vote for your favourite piece
Street Signs Youth Art Project
This year, the Show’s Artz4Youth event will be in-person and outside. The Street Signs Art Project is a free, one-day summer workshop for youth aged 13 – 19 at SEAPARC Leisure Centre, Sooke, generously sponsored by the CRD Arts Commission with material donations from Sooke Home Hardware, Opus Art Supplies and supporter, Lynn Rutherford.
Facilitating the project will be two of Vancouver Island’s best-known artists: Timothy Wilson Hoey and Shawn O’Keefe, along with Axel Tutton, an award-winning artist who exhibited in the 2020 Youth Art Show. Participants will be mentored in graffiti, stencil art, or any other art style they might choose. Youth artists from Sooke and the South Island, who are involved or interested in the arts are encouraged to register by July 21.
En Plein Air Project
En Plein Air is a fundraising collaboration between the Sooke Arts Council (SAC) and the Sooke Fine Arts Society (SFAS), with generous sponsorship by the Sooke Region Tourism Association.
Up to 30 artists will be working “en plein air” throughout the Sooke region on August 1 & 2, bringing attention to the wealth of talented artists in our beautiful area and attracting tourists and residents alike to stop, enjoy, and be inspired by their creativity. The finished works will be displayed between August 25 – Sept 5at the SAC Gallery (6595 Sooke Road) between August 25 – Sept 5, while simultaneously auctioned through the SFAS online auction site.
The 2021 Sooke Fine Arts Show begins July 22 with the exclusive Purchasers’ Preview Night and continues with free public access from July 23 to August 2 at www.sookefinearts.com. Tickets for Purchasers’ Preview Night are available for $25 also at www.sookefinearts.com.